William H. Clifford Jr.

Life Story

William (Bim) H. Clifford Jr., a long-term Lewiston resident, died peacefully in his home on July 4, 2019, knowing he was deeply loved by his children, grandchildren, family, and friends. 

Bim was born in Lewiston, Maine on October 20, 1929, the son of Attorney William H. Clifford, Sr. and Alice Sughrue Clifford. He attended Lewiston Public Schools and Hebron Academy. In 1951, he graduated from Bowdoin College, where his primary focus was on cribbage and football. Following graduation, he served in the United States Army, from 1951 to 1953. He then attended Boston University Law School, and soon after passing the bar he began practicing law at Clifford and Clifford, as well as serving as an Assistant County Attorney for Androscoggin County. In 1966 he was elected County Attorney, where he served two terms. Bim was also elected to the Maine State Senate and served in the 105th legislature. He was passionate about his community and incredibly civic-minded, volunteering as a member of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission and serving as Chairman for several years. He loved working, and his final years were spent in counsel with the firm of Skelton, Taintor, and Abbott.  

Bim was an excellent golfer and a member of Martindale Country Club. He served in many leadership positions, including chairing the committee that planned and constructed the back nine holes at the course, making Martindale one of Maine’s premier golf courses. He shot at least one hole-in-one, and at age 69 played a round of golf where he scored a 69. 

While he loved golf and life in general, Bim’s true passion was furniture making.  He took great pride in learning, planning, making, and eventually gifting his Shaker and Windsor style furniture to family and friends over 50 years.  

Bim was also incredibly proud of the friendships and community he developed in the nearly 30 years he spent as part of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was a sponsor to many who suffered various addictions and helped guide himself, and many others, to sobriety.  He was also a member of Saint Joseph’s Parish where he proudly served as both a Lector and a Eucharistic Minister for many years.

In 1965 he married Cynthia Searles Clifford, the one love of his life, who predeceased him in January of 2019. Their 54 years of marriage was filled with love for each other, a mutual love of antiques, an extended bridge community, family, and many wonderful, dear friendships. Bim is survived by three children — Paul Clifford of Portland; Constance Clifford and her husband Scott Burrill of Freeport; Adam Clifford and his wife Wendy of Bristol, Rhode Island, as well as four grandchildren: William Clifford, Tyler McMinn, and Elias and Willa Burrill.

Bim is survived by four brothers: Peter and Marjory Clifford, of Lewiston; Reverend Richard Clifford, S.J. of Brighton, Massachusetts; Justice Robert Clifford and his wife Tookie; and Doctor David Clifford and his wife Carmen of Lewiston, as well as in-laws from the Searles family, and 20 beloved nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister Constance E. Clifford, and two brothers, Attorney Jere R. Clifford and his wife Betty, and Paul J. Clifford and his wife Ann.

“Dear Family and Friends,

As these last days dwindle, I look back on the incredible gifts I have been given during my life, for which I am extremely grateful. My loving-wife, Cynthia, my dear companion and friend of fifty-four years. My loving children: Paul, Connie, and Adam, their families, as well as my supportive parents, sister, brothers and many wonderful nieces and nephews.  

As I look back, I see how my passions brought me extraordinary joy: my years honing my skill as a furniture maker, wonderful days on the greens at Martindale Country Club, my time as a lector and eucharistic minister at Saint Joseph’s Parish, and a long legal career where I was fortunate to practice law with my father, uncle, cousin, and brothers.

Today as I reflect back, I see clearly how my life changed for the better when I joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Sobriety and the AA community facilitated positive personal change and helped me find serenity by entrusting a higher power, which was aided by and greatly complemented my Christian faith. And equally important, it gave me another loving community that fulfilled and enriched my life. 

As I leave this world and join my wife Cynthia in the next, my hope is that you, whether you are from my AA community, my years at the church, or part of my cherished family, are also blessed with love, family, faith, and passions, and that those bring you blessings and abundance in your life.”

-Bim

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